Pollinator Magnets

Hi River Roaders,

I was recently browsing a native plant nursery website and they described a plant as a “pollinator magnet”. A number of our best pollinator magnets are just starting to come into bloom. We’ll share better views later this summer, but here are some early looks.

We have common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) at several locations in the front. This early bloomer is along River Road.

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) by the second bridge in the back.

Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) by the worship circle in the back.

Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) in the garden between the bridge and the memorial garden. The folks who planted these gardens did a wonderful job incorporating natives into the design!

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), while not native to Maryland, is native more the mid-west and is a real butterfly magnet.

A bee (maybe a wasp?) on a young dogbane (Apocynum sp.) shoot. It might be attracted to the smaller insects. We have a wonderful stand of dogbane between the middle and lower parking lots toward River Road.

After several wet weeks, it’s starting to dry up, which should bring out the butterflies. We’ll see.